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Lily Yang

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Management & Society and Chinese
Program: University of Canterbury
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Term: Spring 2019


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
Other students who have been abroad have always told me if I don't go then I will definitely regret it and I selected based on the part of the world I wanted to go. I heard New Zealand was beautiful and the program fulfills some of the classes I need.


What did you learn about yourself?
I have learned so much about myself in the spam of five months. I learned what was difficult for me and learned to push myself outside of my comfort zones. I have also learned that I have been pretty privileged compared to many parts of the world. I stayed in a Fijian village for a few nights and it made me appreciate everything that I have.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
There are so many great memories but if I would have to narrow it down it would skydiving in Wanaka, swimming with sharks in Fiji, and petting a kangaroo in Australia. I have also loved my Intro to Māori class. I have learned so much about the culture of the indigenous people.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Even though you are abroad, you are abroad for academics so do prioritize your studies over traveling! I traveled a lot but it was all during my mid-semester break and the beginning and the end of the semester.


Would you do it again?
Absolutely! 100% a yes!


How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
It allowed me to meet people from all over the world so I think it helped me learn to interact and get along with people with all kinds background. I am also Chinese major so I was able to practice my Chinese with the Chinese international students. I think any additional language would be beneficial with jobs so I was glad I could further practice my Chinese.


How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
New Zealand courses were super interactive and a lot of them even have class trips. I went on a camping trip for a course and learned about the course contents outdoor. Also they have recorded lectures which made reviewing for exams easier.


How do you identify?
Student of color, First Generation College Student


Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
Try to be friendly with everyone and don't let a few bad encounters discourage you from meeting cool people. I have talked to random people in my classes and have made some life long friends.


If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
All the teachers and counselors at UC were super caring and helpful especially during the Christchurch Mosque shooting. They were super understanding and made accommodations and changes for students who needed. Also Ms. Ashley Szulak at UNC have been extremely helpful. She always answers my emails and help me with any issues. Also, Mrs. Anna Foster, the study abroad advisor at UC is super helpful too.